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The effects of thymoquinone and genistein treatment on telomerase activity, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and survival in thyroid cancer cell lines

1 Department of Medical Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Gazi University, Besevler, Ankara 06500, Turkey
2 Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Giresun University, Giresun 28200, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Sibel Azizenur Ozturk,
Department of Medical Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Gazi University, Besevler, Ankara 06500
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Context: Thyroid cancers (TCs) are the most common endocrine malignancies. There were two problems with the current cancer chemotherapy: the ineffectiveness of treatment due to resistance to cancer cell, and the toxic effect on normal cells. Aims: This study was aimed to determine the effects of thymoquinone (TQ) and genistein (Gen) phytotherapeutics on telomerase activity, angiogenesis, and apoptosis in follicular and anaplastic thyroid cancer cells (TCCs). Materials and Methods: Cell viability, caspase-3 (CASP-3) activity, and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression levels of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB), cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21), and vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) genes were analyzed. Results: It was found that TQ and Gen treatment on TCCs caused a statistically significant decrease of cell viability, and mRNA expression levels of hTERT, VEGF-A, and NF-kB genes, but a statistically significant increase of PTEN and p21 mRNA expression levels. In addition, TQ and Gen treatment also caused a statistically significant increase active CASP-3 protein level in TCCs. Moreover, our results demonstrated that, when compared with follicular TCCs, anaplastic TCCs were more sensitive to the treatment of TQ and Gen. Conclusions: Based on these results, two agents can be good options as potential phytochemotherapeutics against TCCs.

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